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The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 3, Yankees 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Kevin Kiermaier had been struggling with his throws recently and in the 5th with 2 outs, the Yankees tested his arm with Mark Teixeira. Prior to the play, Kiermaier moved in a few steps and it was huge, nailing Tex at home on a single by Carlos Beltran up the middle…Brad Boxberger, who is not a closer, continues to show that 2014 wasn’t a fluke even though out-of-the-blue relief seasons often are. He now has 20 strikeouts in 14 innings this season with Jake McGee now just days away from returning. What makes this even better is the mistaken assumption that McGee will replace Boxberger when he comes back. Wrong. Boxberger just slots down one spot. McGee is replacing whoever is the last man in the bullpen and McGee is infinitely better than that arm and what ends up happening is, as everybody slots down one spot, the entire bullpen gets better, not just the 9th inning. Every conceivable spot in the latter parts of games will have a better arm available. The other advantage of having a guy like Boxy is there is no rush to throw McGee straight into the 9th inning of a 1-run game with the heart of the order up. Sure he will want to. But Cash can afford to give McGee a few spots in the 7th or 8th inning to make sure he is 100% big league ready.

THE BAD: Now for the bad part. Let’s say the Rays are 5-6 games back of the playoffs in late July and Jake McGee is pitching well. If you are Matt Silverman, do you trade McGee? You know you have Boxberger in reserve. You know McGee is probably going to cost the Rays $6-7 million next year in arbitration and if there is one thing the Rays have mastered it is finding relief bargains. Boxberger is so good, it might make it more likely that McGee’s days with the Rays are numbered.

THE TELLING: The Rays claimed Preston Guilmet, a right-handed reliever, off of waivers from the Blue Jays. Drew Smyly was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster. Smyly is the 6th player on the 60-day DL. Guilmet was assigned to triple-A Durham…Attendance was a little better last night, with a crowd of 11,924. But it was just ~1,500 more than Tuesday night. Last year, Wednesday games typically drew about 1,300 more than a Tuesday game. So how much impact was the Lightning playoff game on attendance Tuesday night? Back-of-the-napkin suggests it was less than 1,000 fans and probably closer to 500…The Rays are now 19-16, 2 games behind the Yankees.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Contrary to some reports by the national media, Drew Smyly is not out for the season yet as he is still undecided on shoulder surgery. [TampaBay.com]
  • Forgot to mention this yesterday, but there was more evidence that the Rays are at least concerned the Yankees are stealing signs, when Evan Longoria went to the mound and had Chris Archer change his signs with a runner on second. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Bucs are inducting Doug Williams and Mike Alstott into their Ring of Honor. [JoeBucsFan]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Matt Buschmann tossed 6 shutout innings in Durham’s 1-0 win. Jake McGee allowed just 1 hit in 1 scoreless inning. Grant Balfour struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning and gave up a hit and a walk. The Bulls only had 2 hits but scored their lone run on a groundout by Mikie Mahtook after Taylor Motter stole second and third base in consecutive at bats…Buddy Borden pitched a 7-inning no-hitter in one game of Charlotte’s double-header. Borden struck out 3 and walked 2. In the other game, three pitchers combined on a 1-hit shutout…Bowling Green lost 10-2 with Casey Gillaspie driving in both runs.2B Jace Conrad stole his 13th base.

Reminder, Brad Boxberger is not a closer.

Soon.

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14 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    I'm sure there is a ton of data that influences the infield shifts employed by the Rays. But Jeez...I think Cash might want to revisit some of these decisions as the game progresses. Clearly the Yanks were coming to the plate last night checking the infield alignment as they stepped into the box. In particular, Ellsbury, Gardner and McCann seemed more than willing to take a shot at the open gap. Pillar of the Jays and several Oriole hitters have successfully done the same. Cork, any data yet on the success rate of the shifts?
    I have to say that I'm really amazed at the Rays performance to date. They are a truly exciting bunch to watch. If we can catch some breaks during the next 35 games it will be an interesting summer.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Havent seen data yet this year, but last year the Rays weren't very good at shifting. They were among the leaders in shifts used but were near the bottom in net hits taken away (that is, hits saved by shifting minus hits that probably wouldn't have been hits if the Rays weren't shifted). They were still saving more hits than they were giving up, but it wasn't very much compared to other teams.

      http://www.raysindex.com/2014/09/rays-defensive-shifts.html

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  2. phil says:

    What a devasting duo McGee and Boxberger would make ...not to mention the solid other pieces they have Geltz, Jepson, Ferri and even Gomes and Cedeno have looked good!

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  3. Geoff Peterson says:

    Where have they gone Joe DiMaggio? Suddenly the Fox Sports Florida Girls and all their counterparts all across the country have disappeared from the Network, social media, Fox Sports website, etc. No official announcement from Fox yet. It was a silly, unnecessary gimmick to begin with but I'm curious why they just dispensed of them with no official word. Or maybe they're retooling the lineup since these girls have been at it 5 years or so and are probably getting a bit long in the tooth for the target audience.

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  4. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I'm not too sure that you wanna keep spotting teams 2 runs in the first, but apparently the formula is working.

    As far as attendance goes; based on nothing but the eyeball test (and audio) it seemed like the attendance was much higher. I was expecting a number like 14000. Is it sad that when I saw panning pics of the crowd I was impressed with the number of people?

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    • edward williams says:

      What is crazy in my opinion is the constant talk and posting of the attendance, at least here we get actual rays talk , about the game etc, but everyday there it is in the newspaper , on the radio , internet, "rays only drew 10,000, or 11,000." Yes I wish we could draw more , but for some reason we aren't, so lets just stick to the games. What is even more sad for me is that now I am looking at the box scores to see how many people went, lol. I also look at other teams and it seems to me that unless you are one of the big boys you aren't drawing too much, granted a couple thousand more than the rays, but im seeing 12,000 - 17,000 nightly. Oh well, as for the team itself I find it more exciting this year than in the last few years, maybe because of the youth , (because of the injuries) or maybe because of the change of philosophy. Sure the hitting isn't much better, but I like the idea of double steals, bunting, hit and runs. I just hope it can continue. GO RAYS !!!!!!!

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      • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

        I agree, they've been much more fun to watch with the infusion of youthful energy (a good portion of which can be attributed to KK's hustle; in fact, I think a lot of what made Myers look so bad was the contrast of his effort against K2's, but I digress). I also agree that Maddon had gotten very conservative on the base paths . I'd still like to see more bunt attempts (not just sacs, but legitimate bunts for hits).

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  5. RYAN says:

    When the offense falls flat, Derek Shelton comes under scrutiny. At what point does Jim Hickey get lauded for the year after year success of our pitchers (starters and bullpen).

    I realize development and the organizational way of bringing up pitchers plays a role, but that holds no sway over the success of the free agents and trade acquisitions that have come in and succeeded.

    It would be nice to see him get some praise in the media - especially local. Then again, I don't want him to become a sought-after commodity by a bigger market that decides they want him at all costs.

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    • edward williams says:

      like your comment ryan , but I do know he gets a lot of attention on 620, I just with it was more from the national media , but than again you are right he might become a more sought after assest that we don't want to lose.

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    • angrybuddha says:

      I always feel like he gets good run here at Raysindex.

      I seem to recall that - when JoeMa left - the consensus here was that we needed to keep Hickey at all costs.

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  6. Gus says:

    You look around and add McGee and then Matt Moore next month sometime and suddenly this team is something on the mound.

    Karns in particular seems to be getting better under Hickey. His ability to give them quality starts with Cobb and Smyly down has been enormous.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Is it sustainable?

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      • Gus says:

        Given that all pitchers are day to day, start to start, who knows. But he has swing and miss pitches.

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    • Dave L says:

      The overall team health of today is likely to be indicative of the average overall team health for the remainder of the season. So plan on it and be content with it.

      Sure guys are coming back but do you think injuries are finished for the remaining 3/4 of the season?

      A healthy roster is a dynamic organism not a static one and even if we have league average DL rosters for the remainder of the year, 2015 will end up as an injury plagued one, relatively speaking.

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